I’m not normally a big fan of Hot Air. But when they referred to a devastating McCain ad, I had to check it out.
Here’s their post, containing said ad. And here’s my problem with said post: it’s historically ignorant.
Woodrow Wilson came into office self-admittedly profoundly naive about foreign policy. In fact, in many ways, from his scandalous and self-contradictory interventions in Mexico, his obviously totalitarian Committee on Public Information, which pulled us into WWI and thereby directly ruined any chances that the belligerent parties might realize their own foolishness and negotiate their own peace, to his refusal to leave office after he’d been almost completely incapacitated by a stroke, to his bulletheaded Andrew-Jackson-like certainty that his opinion was the correct one, merely because he possessed it… Woodrow Wilson was a TERRIBLE president.
And yet, his insistence on the Principle of Self-Determination of Peoples, generated directly from his foreign-policy naivete, is why the world is so upset with Russia right now. Because before Wilson stumbled into office (nominated by people who wanted to eject him from his home state, and tried their damndest to get him to lose, and thus be out of US politics forever), the right of the strong to build empires on the backs of the weak was simply taken for granted as the order of the day.
Wilson, ignorant, hypocritical, dishonest jerk that he was — the only US President to never keep a single campaign promise (and a good thing, too, since he campaigned openly against women’s suffrage!) — also set forth a brand of foreign-policy thinking that dominates the world today. When Republicans do it, the Democrats call it “neoconservatism.” When Democrats do it, Republicans call it “interventionism.”
But they both do it, and only the most retrograde of tyrants and wannabe-totalitarian fellow-travelers now dare to openly oppose Wilson’s general-purpose gut-feeling vision for a better world.
I won’t be voting for Obama: as a libertarian hawk, I’m often forced to hold my nose and vote Republican (given that the libertarians are finally coming out of their hallucinatory, Viet-Cong-like insistence on ideological purity, that’s likely to change), because I strongly disagree with what an administration dominated by 4-8 more years of Madeleine Not-So-Bright would do in the world. But “inexperience” itself is by no means the slam-dunk that many of my fellow hawkish types believe it to be.